The International Affairs interdisciplinary curriculum exposes students to courses in various disciplines while also giving students flexibility to select the courses and disciplines that interest them most.
Students who graduate with their degree in international affairs go on to work in a variety of fields — non-profit organizations, NGOs, positions in the government, banks, media and communications, research, public relations, education, corporate companies, and many others. IAF alumni currently hold positions in the U.S. Government, Peace Corps, United Nations, Amnesty International, the Smithsonian, Mass General Hospital, and Harvard University.
College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University
International Affairs Program
Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs
The International Affairs program has identified 5 learning outcomes, which we consider essential to our International Affairs majors, and which form the backbone of our full curriculum review and revision process every five years. These are:
- Explain global affairs and international issues since the early 20th century through diverse and cross-disciplinary theories of: (1) Interstate relations: conflict, cooperation, hierarchies; (2) Civil society, transnational advocacy networks, global social movements; and (3) State-society relations: democracy, authoritarianism, inequalities, citizenship.
- Apply skills gained in coursework, such as language proficiency, cultural competence, and regional expertise, in new and authentic contexts, including Dialogues of Civilization, co-ops, internships, and/or study abroad.
- Develop research skills by writing a research paper that has: (1) posed research questions based on appropriate primary and secondary sources and; (2) applied and interpreted data to draw conclusions.
- Critically analyze and compare: (1) relevant texts and other media and; (2) evidence, arguments, and competing paradigms/theories.
- Challenge assumptions and values that underlie claims about international affairs (the interstate system, state-society relations, civil society, cultures and human rights, etc.).
The B.A. in International Affairs begins with a core set of 6 courses that are required for all majors. This multidisciplinary set of courses includes coursework from international affairs, political science, anthropology, economics, and history.
Students are also required to select 3 regional analysis elective courses, at least two of which must be from one region. For example, students interested in Latin America could take a course on Latin American Politics and a course on Introduction to Latin American History. The third course could be in the same region (Latin America) or a different region. Regional options include Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
To provide students with a comparative perspective of global issues, students are required to complement their regional specializations by taking 3 global dynamics courses. Students can choose from a wide-range of global options in various disciplines.
For both regionals and globals, students can choose the disciplines that interest them. For example, if a student is very interested in history, they could select appropriate courses offered by the history department to fulfill the regionals and globals.
The final course required for the major in International Affairs is the Senior Capstone course, which is a senior research and writing seminar that integrates and assesses the knowledge and skills developed by students participating in the International Affairs curriculum, including both experiential and classroom-based components. Requires student self-reflection as well as new research, analysis, and writing, which culminate in a final paper and presentation.
International Affairs Majors must also complete an “International Semester” to gain international experience through either a traditional study abroad semester, two Dialogue of Civilizations summer programs, or an international co-op.
Students majoring in International Affairs will have an additional foreign language requirement beyond the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts. Students will be required to demonstrate language proficiency through intermediate level II (four semesters of foreign language).
Type of Program